NZ's Luxon in Hawaii holiday blunder

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In a political blunder Australians will find familiar, New Zealand's opposition leader has gone on holiday in Hawaii while telling Kiwis he was at work back home.

National party leader Christopher Luxon travelled to Hawaii last week for a week-long family holiday during a parliamentary recess.

His social media said otherwise, with Mr Luxon declaring in a video posted on Thursday "Today I'm in Te Puke, the heart of kiwifruit country".

In the clip, he meets with IT workers, shares a morning tea with community leaders, and describes a "special" automated logging process at a timber business.

"All in all, a fantastic day in Te Puke. I even got to sample some kiwifruit briefly. A wonderful, wonderful time," he says.

On his return to parliament on Tuesday, he admitted his holiday, saying "I went to Hawaii with my family as I tend to do in July".

He denied misleading Kiwis, blaming a miscommunication with his social media team.

"I take responsibility for it," he said.

"We made a mistake. We own up to it, we front it. We should have captioned the post differently."

When rising to speak in parliament, Mr Luxon was greeted from Labour seats with a cry of "Aloha".

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern refused to criticise Mr Luxon but her deputy, Grant Robertson, accused him of dishonesty.

"Every politician needs to take a break. This is a very stressful place to work. However, when you take a break, you probably should be honest about where you go," Mr Robertson said.

The blooper recalls a defining moment from Australian prime minister Scott Morrison, who covered up his own holiday in Hawaii taken during savage bushfires in December 2019.

While Mr Morrison's mistake was a millstone that hung around his neck for the rest of his political career, Mr Luxon's transgression is nowhere near as serious.

It still overshadowed his party's announcement on Tuesday, a proposed inquiry into the Reserve Bank for its stimulatory response to COVID-19 lockdowns.

"We've got a government which is addicted to spending and we've had an unprecedented amount of printing of cash by the Reserve Bank of New Zealand," he said.

"It's put a heap of cash into the New Zealand economy and I think it's right we call for a an independent public inquiry."

Also on Tuesday, two long-serving National MPs Ian McKelvie and David Bennett announced their retirement at next year's election.

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